03/11/2014 03:09 EDT | Updated 03/11/2014 03:59 EDT

The Health Benefits Of Losing Weight

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From sleeping better to lower blood pressure, we reveal how each pound of weight you lose positively impacts your body.

0 pounds

You may not have lost any weight yet, but your body begins feeling the effects of exercise as soon as you start. A study published in an American Heart Association journal found that getting physically active—even without losing weight—is associated with a longer lifespan.

2 pounds

Congrats! You’re already under a little less pressure. For every 2.2 pounds you lose, your blood pressure drops by 1 mmHg (millimetre of mercury).

10 pounds

You may have lengthened your life! In a study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology, people who lost 10 pounds over six months reduced their risk of dying from heart disease by up to 30 percent. Another study, published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology , showed that a five-percent loss in body weight (or 10 pounds if you weigh 200) can reduce the risk of the most common types of breast cancer by up to a half.

14 pounds

You’re dodging diabetes! Research by the Diabetes Prevention Program found those at risk for Type 2 diabetes reduced their chance of developing it by 58 percent after dropping an average of 14 pounds.

18 pounds

Your heart is healing itself. A study published by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that mildly obese patients with hypertension who lost about 18 pounds experienced reductions in heart-wall thickness, which is caused by excess strain on the heart and can lead to heart failure.

20 pounds

You can breathe a little easier now. When Ottawa researchers studied 58 obese women, they found that every 10 percent loss in body weight improved lung capacity by five percent.

40 pounds

You’ll sleep like a baby. A Swedish study found that obese patients who suffered from sleep apnea saw a 58 percent decrease in symptoms when they lost 40 pounds.

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